Ride & Handling

Unfortunately, the ride is another area where the Super looks better on paper than the other Lucerne trim levels, but in some ways performs worse. The CXL's suspension tuning is firmer than that of the CX, and the Super's is designed to be sportier still. In addition to a larger front stabilizer bar, it adds Magnetic Ride Control, which is an adaptive suspension system that's one of the most sophisticated on the market, as its specialized shock absorbers employ magnetic fluid rather than simpler (and slower) mechanical valves. The system provides no firm/comfort setting for the driver to monkey with, but it automatically monitors the road surface and adjusts to optimize ride and handling. By and large, it makes for a comfortable, if somewhat floaty, ride, and it seems to control body roll more than the simpler suspension can manage. I also, however, found the ride surprisingly bumpy on rough pavement — a strange dichotomy in a car of this type. I've seen this technology make other cars both ride like a dream and handle like a champ; something's not right here.

The main problem with the Super is that it's meant to be sporty, and it's just not. The steering has the same imprecise feel as the lower trim levels, and the extra engine power comes in a manner that's not easily appreciated. While some smaller cars meet their sporty aspirations with front-wheel drive, applying V-8 power to the front wheels always seems to show limitations. If you want sport, you can get rear- or even all-wheel drive for a comparable price and fuel economy.

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